Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

January 11, 2019

March 06, 2020


What is tetany?

Tetany is a group of symptoms involving painful cramps in the body muscles. It is associated with endocrine disorders like hypoparathyroidism where the level of calcium is reduced. Reduced calcium level can lead to tetany.

What are its main associated signs and symptoms?

The main associated symptoms of tetany are:

Additional symptoms that may be linked to tetany are:

The most severe symptoms related to tetany are muscle spasms of the larynx and bronchi.

What are the main causes?

The causes of tetany are:

  • Reduced calcium levels (hypocalcaemia)
  • Reduced magnesium levels (hypomagnesaemia)
  • Reduced potassium levels (hypokalaemia)
  • Loss of acid-base balance in the body (alkalosis)

Generally, reduced levels of parathyroid hormones or removal or injury of the parathyroid gland leading to reduced calcium levels and alkalosis are the major causative factors of tetany.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The diagnosis generally involves investigation of the symptoms experienced. The doctor may recommend a blood test to check the serum electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, and potassium levels and confirm the diagnosis.

As the primary cause is calcium deficiency, the best treatment is intravenous calcium supplementation in the form of elemental calcium at a dose of 100 to 200 mg. In a majority of the cases, treatment with calcium is accompanied by vitamin D as it is needed for the absorption of calcium in the body. In the case of tetany induced due to magnesium deficiency, magnesium supplementation is required. The therapy depends on the underlying cause of tetany.


  1. Ito N, Fukumoto S. Symptoms and management of tetany]. [Article in Japanese] . Clin Calcium. 2007 Aug;17(8):1234-9. PMID: 17660621
  2. National Organization for Rare Disorders [Internet], Hypoparathyroidism
  3. Jacob J, De Buono B, Buchbinder E, Rolla AR. Tetany induced by hypokalemia in the absence of alkalosis. Am J Med Sci. 1986 Apr;291(4):284-5. PMID: 3706394
  4. Gärtner R. [Tetany]. . Internist (Berl). 2003 Oct;44(10):1237-42. PMID: 14689085
  5. Williams A, Liddle D, Abraham V. Tetany: A diagnostic dilemma. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Jul;27(3):393-4. PMID: 21897517

Medicines for Tetany

Medicines listed below are available for Tetany. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine Name



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